Tina K. Russell

March 1, 2008

Barack’s Suggestion Box

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Tina Russell @ 5:46 pm

my.barackobama.com | MyPolicy Submission

I think this is brilliant. I was thinking, a while back, that Barack Obama ought to have something on his campaign site where you could submit ideas for his platform, since he and his tight crew might not be able to spot the next great idea that will unite America by themselves.

Great minds think alike, and now the Students for Barack Obama website has such a form on it. Go and submit your ideas! Here’s mine:

Teddy Roosevelt instituted the national parks program. Frederick Roosevelt crafted the New Deal and the beginning of Social Security. Dwight Eisenhower proposed forging the nation’s highways. All three were far-reaching proposals requiring intense commitment from the government and the taxpayer, but all three won out in the end, and now, we couldn’t imagine life without them.

Ever since Ronald Reagan (who, as you rightly pointed out, dominated the ideas of the late 20th century), such wide-scale state-citizen projects have been frowned upon. As a result, poverty is on the rise, our nation’s infrastructure is falling apart (shown most heartbreakingly by the under-maintained levees that failed to withstand the harsh winds of Katrina), and our healthcare system is an absolute mess. Americans are cynical about their government, a cynicism that is only beginning to wash away with your campaign.

My question for you, Mr. Obama, is this: what big project will we embark upon when your presidency begins? I think Americans are ready to work to better our country. I can name just a few projects that I think would be worthy of your attention: a strong scientific investment into clean power with results published in the public domain; the creation of a national health service, the most cost-effective system of healthcare to be implemented in the Western world; an overhaul of our nation’s infrastructure, repairing levees, bridges, and highways to allow commerce and pursuit of happiness to progress unimpeded; municipal broadband and Wi-Fi in every major city, so that every citizen, regardless of social status, can share in the social and economic fruit of the Information Age; a new era of American education, where higher pay for teachers, student-focused educational programs, revisiting and rebuilding forgotten and underperforming schools, and wrestling of control from powerful teachers’ unions will turn teaching into the prestigious position it ought to be and turn America’s educational system from the shame into the exemplar of the Western world; repairing slum neighborhoods and revitalizing the economies of our nation’s impoverished areas; and a national volunteer corps, where every American could visit an office near them and find out what they can do to help their community, or could register a project themselves and take up a cause important to them. These are all projects that merit a broad national effort.

John McCain is a man I respect, but he’s not the man to rebuild our tattered government. If we can bring back Uncle Sam, the strong government proud of its people, we can get Americans interested in politics again. But first, we must reach out our hand and ask for help. These kind of large-scale projects are worthy in themselves simply because a shared goal unites America and motivates us to work and enjoy life, and understand what’s really important, much better than a common enemy ever can. Shared goals have brought nations out of recessions and turned bitter countries shattered by war into modern powerhouses of pride and development. However, the palpable psychological effect is given an extra bonus with the fact that, when the project is finished, we will have a new national institution for all of us to enjoy, and Americans will see the fruits of their labor.

Staunch conservatives may complain when the government asks its citizens for help, but they drive on the same highways, retire on the same Social Security checks, and relax in the same national parks as the rest of us. It’s telling that volunteerism is up at the same time as our faith in government has plummeted; we may have given up on our government, but we still love our country. Let’s work together to make both great.

Thank you, Mr. Obama!

–Tina Russell


  1. I think conservatives complain about being asked for help because of the undeniable inefficiencies and excesses to which the government falls victim. Their response, however, is to cut necessary services (let’s fire some teachers!) rather than ask about how the government organization can be reengineered for efficiency – for example, by cutting out the countless layers of bureaucracy, and by firing employees who aren’t productive. Oh, wait, unions won’t let you do that.

    Great post! I love your writing!


    Comment by Dana Scheider — March 6, 2008 @ 10:12 pm

  2. Mr. Obama i wanted to first congratulate you in all that you have done and accomplished. My suggestion to you, which you probably have done this, but since your campaign has all these money if you would donate some money to the place of your choice i really think it would be a great thing for you. Am sure you have already thought of it or already started i just wanted to put it out there incase you haven’t already.


    Comment by piggy piggy — October 28, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  3. Mr.Obama I just wanted to make a thought that may help later down the road. Maybe if the banks of america put first time home buyers in the house they want for one year or maybe even a two year renting term to make sure that the payments are afforable on there income and to make sure that the buyers are reliable there really would not have been so many people filing bankruptcy. and so much bad credit. but its just a thought. I mean putting young people in there first house they really dont know what they are getting into untill they have already signed the papers and then 6 months later having to file bankruptcy because they were to careless or maybe because they just cant afford the payments.

    Comment by trina — March 1, 2009 @ 1:23 am

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